The relationships between dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), the intensity of Schistosoma mansoni infection and parasite-specific antibody responses: A cross-sectional study in residents of endemic communities in north-east Ethiopia

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Abstract:

Abebe F, Birkeland KI, Gaarder PI, Petros B, Gundersen SG. The relationships between dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), the intensity of Schistosoma mansoni infection and parasite-specific antibody responses. A cross-sectional study in residents of endemic communities in north-east Ethiopia. APMIS 2003;111:319–28.

There are speculations that the puberty-related hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) might influence the intensity of infection and immune responses during Schistosoma infections. We studied the relationships between DHEAS, intensity of Schistosoma mansoni infection and humoral immune responses in 135 residents of Ethiopia. Serum levels of eight antibody isotypes against worm and egg antigens were determined by ELISA. DHEAS was measured with an immunoluminometric assay. There was a significant negative correlation between serum levels of DHEAS and intensity of S. mansoni infection. A significant increase in serum levels of DHEAS in the age group 15–19 years was accompanied by a progressive decline in the intensity of infection. Peak level of DHEAS coincided with the lowest intensity of infection in the age group 20–29 years. Multiple regression analysis showed that DHEAS alone had a significant (p<0.0001) negative effect when the effect of age was removed. Age also had a significant (p<0.0001) negative effect on the intensity of infection, after removing the effect of DHEAS. The two predictive variables accounted for 34.4% of the decline in the intensity of infection. Age accounted for 24.9%, whereas DHEAS accounted for 15.2% when the effect of each of the variables was removed. DHEAS had significant negative effects on AWA-specific IgG (p=0.02) and IgG1 (p=0.018) and SEA-specific IgG1 (p=0.009), after adjusting for the effect of age.

Keywords: DHEAS; Ethiopia; Schistosoma mansoni; antibody isotypes; immunity

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0463.2003.1110205.x

Affiliations: 1: Hormone Laboratory, Aker University Hospital, Oslo, 2: Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo, Norway 3: Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4: Institute of General Practice, Department of International Health, Blindern, Oslo,

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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